Election 2008 Politics The Clintons

My Hillary Story

[digg-reddit-me]I never met Senator Clinton.  And I never had much opinion of her one way or another throughout the 1990s.  She had receded from the spotlight by the time I started paying attention to politics around 1994 or so.  But I do have one particular memory from high school – when she was running for the Senate in my home state, New York.  An acquaintance of mine was very political, and his father was tied in with the local Democratic party.

As we were driving, we were talking about the Senate race – of First Lady Clinton against our hometown congressman, Rick Lazio.  I didn’t much like Lazio; and I didn’t much like Clinton.  Being straightforward, I admitted as much.

It was right then that I first heard the “inevitable” argument regarding Hillary Clinton.  “You might as well get on board, because she’s going to win, and you’ll gain nothing by opposing her,” I was told.  The pressure was on – and for maybe five minutes, this high school acquaintance tried to convince me – not of Hillary’s inner goodness, or her policy savvy, or her experience, or any positive quality.  Rather, he tried to convince me that nothing good could come from standing in her way.

I hadn’t really remembered this conversation much in the years ahead – but as I began to hear again and again about how Hillary was “inevitable” and how nothing good would come from standing in her way, the memory resurfaced.   Hillary obviously can’t be held responsible for the tactics her supporters use at such a remove from herself; but I see today the same dynamic – in Nevada, in South Carolina, in Paul Krugman, in her  most ardent supporters.  And it forces me to wonder if this bullying is not some essential part of what makes Hillary Clinton the public figure she is today.

This isn’t a policy tract; and this isn’t psychoanalysis; it’s just a feeling.  But I’m under the impression that it’s one shared by many, especially those in power with something to lose.  But what happens when you challenge a bully publicly and survive?  The bully loses his or her power – because intimidation is based on a fear of retribution.

As my acquaintance kept pushing me harder and harder to support Hillary, I refused to budge.  I get like that when I’m pressured.  Come election night, many months later – as I filled out my absentee ballot at college – I voted a straight Democratic ticket.  Except for the Senate.  I voted for Rick Lazio.  I didn’t like Lazio all that much; but I didn’t like being bullied.

One reply on “My Hillary Story”

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: